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Israeli opposition leader slams Netanyahu's policy of using force in Gaza to free hostages

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published June 14,2024

An Israeli opposition leader on Friday slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy of using force in the Gaza Strip to free hostages, accusing him of prioritizing his political interests over the lives of Israeli citizens, calling it an unrealistic approach.

"The truth must be told: The 'Iron Swords' war has no realistic goals," Yair Golan, leader of Israel's opposition Labor Party and a former deputy chief of staff of the Israeli army, said in a statement on X, referring to Israel's ongoing brutal attacks on Gaza, which have killed nearly 38,000 Palestinians, the majority of whom are women and children.

He stressed that "It is impossible to free the hostages and destroy Hamas at the same time - that is the truth.

"Israel has no plan for the day after the war in the Gaza Strip. There is no one to deal with reconstruction, no one to manage civilian life, no one to be an alternative to Hamas, Israel has no idea or plan. It's the truth."

According to Golan, a hostage situation could have been resolved and the war could have ended four months ago. However, he accused Netanyahu of putting his political interests ahead of the lives of Israeli citizens.

"The one who prevented this is Netanyahu, thus preferring his own political interest over the lives of Israeli men and women whom he is responsible for neglecting," Golan said.

Golan also expressed concern about the Israeli government's lack of a plan to end the war with Lebanon's Hezbollah, calling it a "harsh reality" and stressing the need for a change in government to begin rebuilding Israel.

"In order to begin the task of rebuilding Israel, the government must be replaced, this will not happen without huge protests that will make it clear to Netanyahu and his partners that they have no choice but to call for new elections," he said.

Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Hamas despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

Nearly 37,800 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and over 85,100 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.